L'Economia conservadora vista per Josep Pla


  • Valentí Puig


The conservative economics of'Josep Pla start with a society where individual's act, decide and choose. Individuals must have the maximum capacity to choose in morality and in economics. In contrast State bureaucrats and the megalomaniacs of 'Leviathan want to direct the economy. There is a constant battle between nature and culture, that is memory, the basis of' civilisation. Revolutions coopt nature as agents of destruction showing the vulnerability of culture. Civilisation is order against disorder.
Capitalism is the most appropiate system for humanity. Through wealth individual freedom is guaranteed. Capitalism is efficient and productive, while socialism may seem adequate but is inefficient. Wealth cannot be given away, it is created. The first duty of 'a liberal is to defend the wealth of a country against the omnipotent State. The only clear human economic law is supply and demand. This is normality. When markets decline, hunger beckons. Europe without the Renaissance and the bourgeoisie would be a desert. There is no institution as human as private property and the market. The last thing that will die the is individualism.
Pla believed in Keynes but abandoned him when he realised Keynes was inflationary. Pla values the price of money as the most important event in human life. The rise of Hitler was the product of' inflation. Pla goes even further identifiying socialism and inflation. The price of money has led to the collapse of all revolutions and reactions. In a normal consolidated society the first duty of citizens is to demand that politicians maintain a usable and efficient currency. The price of money is the foundation of practical morality, the only one possible.
The great metastasis of the century has been Marxism. Pla says he has great respect for socialism because it is always wrong, systematically. Communism is the childiest version of rationalism. Shortcuts lead to darkness. Society is a fragile base which requires constant awareness of ethics and reality. Freedom is not natural and civilisation is a protective varnish against barbarism. The intellectual fascination with absolutes has sacrificed entire generations to utopias. The abuse of rationalism concentrates on social imperfections, but individuals are imperfect by definition. Survivors, not heroes, remain, in old and civilised countries.